How to Clean Embarrassing Stains on Your Sofa

Stains on Fabrics

Stains on fabrics are unfortunately inevitable. Even using protective stain guards you will still end of with some type of stain at some point. So much of our furnit
stains on fabric
ure is made with fabric, mainly because of the comfort and colour availabilities. We love fabric because it is so versatile. Our sofa and chairs will get stains from normal everyday use. Our drapes are less likely, but still any fabric piece is a dirt and stain magnet. Most have fabric on our dining chairs, which will attract the most stains mainly because we eat at the table with them. So the dining chairs will have food and beverage stains. A good fabric protectant on your sofa will help, but without wiping all stains right away will make them more difficult to remove at a later time. A simple step to add to our regular cleaning routine would be to take a damp cloth with water only and wipe down your sofa and other fabric furniture completely.

Sofas are Particularly Common Places for Stains

Our sofas tend to attract the most stains, as we view them as the most welcomed seat in the room. Most of your guest will flow to your sofa or loveseats instead of your single chairs. Your sofa is usually used by your family members for lounging and watching television or just relaxing. We spill simple things like coffee or cold drinks unintentionally. In the family room stains will become more evident from more use.

Cushions… a quick solution!

For a quick and temporary resolution to a new spotted stain are cushions. Take your throw pillows and strategically hide any stains when surprise guest arrive, here are some great ideas: www.simplycushions.com.au.  There are also slip covers available for sofas and loveseats. These covers allow for easy cleaning and replacing if necessary. Slipcovers would be best served if you have a family room with a lot of activity and children. Another quick solution is to flip the cushion over. Flipping your cushions is best whether you have stains or wear, as this will keep the cushion from settling in certain areas.

cushions on sofa

Common Stains and How to Clean Them

Blotting is the best cleaning technique when removing stains. Always be gentle when rubbing or cleaning fabric as not to wear or tear the area. A few of the most common stains would be

  • Coffee – a damp cloth to area immediately will catch these tough stains before they sink in
  • Chocolate – Hydrogen Peroxide is great for removing chocolate when fresh or dried
  • Gum – use a plastic scraper and gently scrape the gum, then blot cleaning the area
  • Grease or Blood- apply gently with ammonia or vinegar
  • Ketchup and Mustard – blot with baking soda and water mixture
  • Alcohol – blot the stain with a sponge and vinegar
  • Ink – sponge with a litre detergent first, then if not successful try hair spray or rubbing alcohol
  • Mildew – dry brush are first, then sponge with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Read more about how to cleaning your walls

Your household products are great for getting those tough stains and less likely to damage your fabric. With Vinegar’s high acidity makes stains fade away until they disappear. Lemon Juice is good substitute if you are out of vinegar. Baking Soda can be viewed as the miracle powder for removing stains. Ammonia is similar to hydrogen peroxide for the most stubborn stains. Table salt when mixed well with water is mild abrasive stain remover for the tougher fabrics. Some stubborn stains may take several small steps to get them to disappear, so be patient.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Walls and Everything on Them

Your Wall Take Up Most of the Space in Your Home

The largest area to clean is your walls. They take up more see-able space than any other and need to be kept clean as possible. Your walls can be cement, brick, wood, glass, or wallboard and all of these could become major problems if not cleaned on a regular basis. Painted walls if they get out of hand you can repaint them. However, the more expensive brick and wood walls could be very expensive to repair or replace if not taken care of with proper cleaning. The best step is to clean spots immediately when you spot them

Pictures, posters, mirrors, wall art can help take focus off stained walls

Just like cushions can hide stains on sofas, wall décor helps eliminate the hugeness of your wall space. Most eyes will focus on your wall decorations and not notice a few stains or dirt there. Mirrors are the best décor to draw guest attention to, not only does it brighten your rooms up but distracts from any unsightly flaws in your room. It is very hard to avoid the fingerprints and normal dust and dirt that in time will attach to your walls. As hard as we try to wipe them right away, we will still find those hidden marks.

Wall clocks can distract attention from dirty walls

If things are really bad and you don’t have the time to clean your walls before an upcoming event in your home, then there are a few things you can do to distract the attention from your walls. You can pick up a large wall clock from an online store that will save you the time involved with cleaning your walls. Perhaps the best use of a wall clock is if you have a large stain that you need to hide. A well-placed clock can do wonders for disguise.

large wall clock on wall

Different products that can help clean walls

It is best to use water as your main source of cleaning product. Adding the additional cleaning solution in minimal amounts prevent damaging your walls. Pine cleaners are easy on cleaning walls. Your dish soap is a great mild cleaner as well. Any of the harsh cleaners are not good for any type of wall.

Natural alternatives to chemicals for cleaning walls

Vinegar or Lemon Juice is very good for cleaning your walls. These are safe, non-toxic and give your walls a fresh scent. Using chemicals as cleaning products leaves your house smelling of chemicals, which is not pleasant at all. Baking soda is a great bathroom cleaner. Borax works wonders in the kitchen to clean, deodorise and help keep insects at bay. For any oil-based painted walls, here is a simple cleaning solution that will not damage the paint or wall – 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 litre of water and 1 teaspoon of dish detergent. Apply with a soft sponge and wipe the walls.

Best Techniques for Cleaning and Maintaining Walls

man cleaning wallsThese are some techniques for cleaning your walls that are simple and quick:
Washing

always wash from bottom to top to prevent streaks
rub gently to keep from rubbing any point off
mix water with liquid soap to use on marks

Whitewash

  • whitewashing is not paint, but a very thin plaster
  • apply a thick coat with a large brush
  • is cost-effective and hygienic

Repair Scratches and Dents

  • fill dents and scratches with Plaster of Paris
  • do small paint touch ups

Removing Stains

  • take a wet sponge and apple a little pressure in circular motion
  • hot water and a little pine based cleaner for tougher stains

Damp and Wet Walls

  • use latex polymer paint which is easier to clean and maintain
  • use semi-gloss paints as well

Repainting

  • repaint with Kilz to cover water damaged walls
  • waterproof wood or brick walls

Glossy Paint

  • repaint often for a fresh and clean look
  • wallpaper is easy to maintain

Vacuum Your Walls

  • use the brush and vacuum your walls gently

A little bit of prevention goes a long way. When you are deciding on the type of wall you have or are installing consider the care and maintenance that is required as well.

Forget Expensive Cleaning Products- Make Your Own

Expensive Cleaning Products and the Environment

If you kept track of just one month of your cleaning expenses, you would be very surprised. When we look at each individual cleaning product we really do not consider the cost because it is usually around four to five dollars each. We use laundry detergent, softeners, and stain removers just for our laundry. Now in the kitchen, we buy dish soap, dishwasher detergent, spray cleaners for the counter and floor cleaner and shine. The living room requires furniture polish and floor cleaner. The bathrooms and multiply for each bathroom in your house, you have window cleaner for the mirror and tub and tile cleaners, plus the toilet bowel cleaner and floor cleaner. Yes, some of these overlap, but only a few of them. This quite a bit of money spent each month.

Not only have you spent a lot of money for these cleaning products but also the chemical mixture you have put in your house affects your family’s health. The person doing the cleaning gets more exposure to all these different types of chemical first hand. The average home uses about 63 different cleaning products. Of the 63 cleaning products 17,000 petrochemicals are available and only 30% have been tested for environmental safety and human exposure. Your home can be more polluted than any outdoor exposure.

Eco friendly cleaning

Make Your Own Affordable Cleaning Products- people have done so for many years

Most of the safe homemade remedies are crossed with items you already have in your home. They are inexpensive and safe for your family. These cleaning alternatives usually are multi-tasked as well. Take a look around in your cupboards and you will see some safe items that have many cleaning abilities like

  • Baking Soda- neutralizes and deodorises
  • Lemon Juice – cleans and deodorises
  • Vinegar – dissolves, removes, polishes, and deodorises
  • Borax – cleans, deodorises, and inhibits

Some of my Favourites

Some of my favourite safe alternatives are vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and tea tree oil. Some essential oils from our natural fruits and vegetables make great cleaning products as well. The oils are much better for refreshing your house with those great healthy smells in your potpourri pots. You only use a few drops, so these oils last for quite a while.

A few Homemade Cleaning Remedies

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonatebowl of bi carb soda

  • sprinkle to extinguish grease fires
  • cleans and polishes aluminum, chrome, silver, jewelry, plastic, porcelain, stainless steel and tin
  • softens fabrics (half cup in with your laundry)
  • removes stains (make a paste with water)
  • very effective underarm deodorant (mix equal parts baking soda and cornstarch and add just enough coconut oil to hold it all together). Add a bit of essential oil such as lavender or lemon, and you have an effective and very cheap deodorant)
  • makes great toothpaste. Pour a little mouthwash (natural, of course) over your brush and dip it in the baking soda.

Lemon juiceLemons

  • cleans glass
  • removes stains from aluminum, clothes (test a small portion first) and porcelain
  • lightens/ bleaches if used with sunlight

 

 

 

Vinegar

  • dissolves mineral deposits (soak a cloth with vinegar and wrap it around your faucet spout and leave on for an hour or so)
  • removes grease, traces of soap and wax buildup
  • polishes some metals
  • deodorizes bad odors

Borax

  • deodorises
  • inhibits mold and mildew growth
  • boosts the cleaning power of soaps or detergents (toss a half cup in with your laundry)
  • stain remover
  • kills cockroaches when used with an attractant such as sugar

 

How To Keep Your Floors Cleaner Longer

The Difficulties of Cleaning Floors and Keeping Them Clean

Mop and legs cleaning floorFloors are probably the hardest part of cleaning as you can just sweep the floor in the morning and by evening it need sweeping again. The amount of cleaning needed on your floors will depend on the amount of traffic that uses the floors. Entry ways are notorious for needing constant cleaning. We tend to bring the dirt and dust in with us from outside and the entry way is our first contact. The kitchen would probably be the second floor that is hard to keep clean. The traffic alone in there is taxing on the floor, now combine that with the act of cooking as food droppings tend to find their way on the floor as well.

Why It Is Important To Keep Floors Clean

Clean floors are a necessity for several reasons. The first is health, if our floors are not clean and have outside dirt and germs we will be dragging all that throughout the house. Then when we go to the bathroom we are tracking dirt from the floor back into our beds. When the children sit or lounge on the floor they will pick up all the dirt there and take it where ever else they go in the house. Then your floor dirt will be everywhere and make cleaning three times as hard.

Types of Floors and How to Keep Them Clean

  • Wood Floor – Wooden floors are best to sweep and mop with a wood cleaner. Any harsh cleaners may harm the wood and remove and sealants or varnishes.
  • Vinyl Flooring – Whether tiles or Linoleum they are both vinyl and require sweeping and moping with cleanser that will clean and sanitise with a fresh smell. A light waxing may help keep the vinyl floor cleaner for longer periods.
  • Ceramic Tile – After sweeping the floor it is best to not soak the tile and let the water settle. With tile there is the grout that holds the tiles in place, so you don’t want water setting on the floor too long.
  • Carpet – Vacuuming is essential with carpet, the more you vacuum the belter. You don’t want to let dirt settle too long on your carpet as it may tend to get down into the fibers and make it harder to get out with just a vacuum.
  • Or use some natural alternativesread more here

Some Popular Products for Use on Floors and ‘My’ Opinion on Them

One popular product for vinyl floors is “Mop n Glo”, I am not a fan of this product. I find it does not give your floor a good shine. I like “Pine-Sol” cleaner for cleaning non-wood floors. For carpets there are the carpet deodorisers that you sprinkle on our carpet. These do smell good at first, however they do not clean a thing and the nice smell will go away just to leave the powder caked in the fibers of your carpet. The vacuum does not always get all the powder back out of the carpet. Here are some other cleaning products that might be of interest as well.

Alternative Ways to Keep Your Floors Clean

There are a few things you can try to help keep your floors cleaner. Some of these will make daily floor cleaning easier as well. Place outside mats at all outside doors, this will keep some of the outside dirt out. Scatter or throw rugs help keep the floors cleaner and daily they will just need to be rolled up and taken outside for a good shaking. The best alternative is to make shoes off at the door a #1 house rule.

Living room with a rug

The Importance of Keeping a Clean House Even if We Don’t Like Doing It

The importance of keeping a clean house goes beyond appearances or just keeping up with the neighbours. Our family’s sanity relies on a clean house. When your home is clean then everyone feels a lot happier being home. There is no danger of injury from falling over a mess or slipping on a dirty wet floor. Keeping a clean house will also teach children good clean habits when they are young to carry into adulthood.

  • Scum in your sinks and tub
  • Bugs in your bed
  • Ants in your kitchen
  • Roaches in your bathroom
  • Dust on your tables and floors
  • Mold and mildew
  • Stains in the carpet
  • Mice droppings
  • Dirt and filth

Why It Is Important For Health

Cleaning your house on a regular schedule is important for your health for so many reasons. Keeping your bathroom clean will prevent germs from spreading and possibly making you or your family sick. Also, it would almost be impossible to take a shower or a bath in an unclean tub and believe you will come out clean. Your kitchen area is a place that has a lot of traffic and where food is made. Many people get ill enough to require medical attention from unhealthy food. Without a clean kitchen to prepare meals in you are definitely inviting disaster for your family.

Why It Is Important for Allergies

Woman with vacuum cleanerSo many people fight being sick only to find out it was an allergic reaction all along. Most people do not realize that dust is the main cause for allergy sufferers. So, dusting, vacuuming and sweeping are essential cleaning activities that need to be done often. To diagnose allergies is not an easy task, so cleaning the dust and allergens from your house will save your family a lot uncomfortable pain, testing, and medicines. If you have a clean house and you are still fighting off allergies also be aware that it might be your cleaning products causing the problem.

Why It Is Important For Your Reputation/Image

If you get a reputation for not having a clean house it is not only a reflection on you, but your whole family. Your children may get teased at school. People would think twice when being invited over for a dinner party. At the school bake sale no one seems to want to buy your bake goods. This overall will not leave you or your family feeling good at all. If your house is not clean it will show on your appearance outside, whether it is on your clothes, hair, or shoes. Dirt likes to multiply anyway or any place you let it.

How It Can Keep You Fit

When you clean continuously you are burning up calories and getting your blood flowing. Cleaning is just another form of exercise except you are getting two different results at the same time. Imagine how much energy you burn up by just dusting and vacuuming. Not to mention the muscle you put into cleaning the sinks tubs and floors. All this exercise didn’t even cost you an extra dime in the process.

Woman keeping fit while cleaning

Cleaning Should Not Be Just One Person’s Responsibility

Everyone in the household contributes to the mess in a house. To have just one person responsible for the entire cleaning of the house is unfair. Little ones need to start learning while young to do small cleaning jobs; this enforces good cleaning habits when they are older. With everyone pitching in, there will be more free time for family fun. Here are some tips from average people on getting the family to pitch in